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  #1  
Old 08-30-2015, 03:05 PM
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Default Hatcher "Tree" Penelope crossover order through TAMCO

Magpie

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told

Children's nursery rhyme popular in the UK.

I was commissioned through TAMCO to build a Magpie themed guitar by a client who's wife, Joy, had recently passed. He has honored me with his trust to build this guitar in her memory. Joy was an wonderful school teacher who had touched and inspired many lives. Joy is loved and missed by many. The intention is the guitar will be kept in the family and passed to their daughter in time.

As this project is a celebration of Joy's life my client has given me permission to share this build thread and some of the thinking behind it's creation.

Here are some basic specs;

Penelope 12 fret model
Nylon Crossover
The "Tree" back and sides
Swiss moon spruce top
Open headstock with Knilling planetary tuning pegs
Ebony trim
Bone nut, saddle, and inlay work

There will be more detail to come but, let's start with some pictures of the woods:









Thanks,
Mark
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2015, 05:11 PM
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Spectacular woods for a beautiful tribute guitar...thanks for sharing it with us!
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:22 PM
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One of the BEST sets of the tree ive ever seen.... How special... The force will be with you on this build for sure...
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamondave View Post
One of the BEST sets of the tree ive ever seen.... How special... The force will be with you on this build for sure...
Thank you Diamondave,

Here are a couple pictures of the back being joined and set up.

I also want to say that when you see the "tree" wood in these pictures I am trying something different to show off the wonderful figure. The wood is not wet and no finish is applied. I have wiped it with alcohol which slightly devolves some of the resin in the wood and in this case darkens it a bit when dry.

The "tree" wood has a reputation as being an exceptionally good sounding mahogany which I have found to be true on previous "tree" guitars. When I treated it with the alcohol I was really surprised on how much resin is in this wood. This may have some bearing on it's tone. In any case, I think it's a good way to show off the interior on the completed guitar.







Thanks for viewing!
Mark
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  #5  
Old 08-31-2015, 04:49 PM
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Wow, Wow, Wow, what a set of tree that is. That is beyond this world really. There truly is just one tree and when you see it you know it!!!

I am sure it will become obvious as you go along, but could expound some on the Magpie theme, why ie, does it have a special meaning to the family, and what you have planned?

Thanks,

Tom
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:47 PM
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Mark has an eye for Tree Mahogany. This is going to be a beauty.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:51 PM
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absolutely incredible materials.

Condolences and congratulations. A beautiful tribute
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:51 AM
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I'd say it would be quite an honor to be asked to accept this commission.

It sure has the makings for quite a guitar; looking forward to watching the build thread.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2015, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
Wow, Wow, Wow, what a set of tree that is. That is beyond this world really. There truly is just one tree and when you see it you know it!!!

I am sure it will become obvious as you go along, but could expound some on the Magpie theme, why ie, does it have a special meaning to the family, and what you have planned?

Thanks,

Tom
Thanks Tom!

The "tree" really is unmistakable. I think the connection my client's family has with magpies and the nursery rhyme starts with when they were first married they were two; "Joy" and when they had their daughter, "Three for a girl".

Part of what I am attempting to do in this build thread is show the process of incorporating a personal connection in the creation of a custom guitar. There is a lot more to come!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBWW View Post
Mark has an eye for Tree Mahogany. This is going to be a beauty.
Thanks! It's a pleasure to work with now that I've gotten past the fear of bending those highly figured sides!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJI View Post
absolutely incredible materials.

Condolences and congratulations. A beautiful tribute
Thanks. I'll give it my best!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
I'd say it would be quite an honor to be asked to accept this commission.

It sure has the makings for quite a guitar; looking forward to watching the build thread.
It is an honor to be trusted like this.

Here are a couple more shots of the back coming together;



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  #10  
Old 09-01-2015, 03:32 PM
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Hey Mark,

Anything in particular that makes you nervous about bending the sides? Past experience or just the high figure?

Mark
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2015, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antsdmb View Post
Hey Mark,

Anything in particular that makes you nervous about bending the sides? Past experience or just the high figure?

Mark
Other than how expensive it is, it's the high figure. When you look closely at the direction(s) of the grain you'll see that it runs 90 degrees to the plane of the wood in many places. I take the sides down to 50 thou and laminate it with more mahogany.

This is a wood that the lattice bracing on the back really shines because the support is spread out much more evenly.
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  #12  
Old 09-01-2015, 07:54 PM
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Thanks a bunch, Mark. That's a beautiful set. I'll be keeping a close eye on this build.

Mark
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2015, 04:07 PM
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Default Back Braces

Here go those back braces I was just talking about;





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  #14  
Old 09-05-2015, 02:54 PM
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Default Onto the sides

Here I am getting the sides bent and set up. As I mentioned earlier with the extremely figure I find it best to thin the sides quite a bit and laminate them.
I use two additional laminates of mahogany. The center laminate is 90 degrees or cross grained. The inside layer goes length wise. I keep the whole layup thin so it's still very light and I get a clean crack free bend on the outer "tree" layer yielding a finished side that is very rigid and stable. In fact, it is stable enough to eliminate the need for side braces;







Thanks for viewing!
Mark
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2015, 05:15 PM
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Here are some pictures of the top coming together. This is a master grade Swiss Moon Spruce top. I chose a lighter weight set with very nice stiffness both along and against the grain. It has a good musical tap tone and rings along very nicely:



I'm sticking with a simple rosette meant to further show off that beautiful "Tree" figure:



Cutting out the sound hole:





And finally a good peak at things to come!

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